Nigerian Losses Hundreds of Million as Cryptocurrency Scams Hit The Country

Ibiam  |  Mar 13, 2020

Nigeria is currently seeing a high increase in large scale cryptocurrency scams as the monetary authorities and law enforcement agencies in the country seem to be helpless about the situation, according to a news outlet, The Guardian.

The perpetrators either claim that they speculate on digital currency price movements through CFD trading account or offer crypto exchange services, but in reality, they turned out to be mere Ponzi schemes or pyramid schemes.

As reported, the estimate of the losses to the schemes is running in hundreds of millions of Naira. These losses could be related to the fact that the victims were eager to break free from economic hardship; hence, they are likely to be lured by mouth-watering offers.

Meanwhile, a cybersecurity expert in the country, Anthony Ogbo, said that they lack the capability to keep up with the highly advancing digital space. Besides, authorities in the country aren’t helping either. 

Although the crypto scammers usually present offers that are too hard to resist, they are only able to prevail in Nigeria due to weak regulations in the country, as well as the lack of ability to keep up with technological trends.

One of the victims, Binus Yaro, who was contacted by the fraudsters through a Telegram group chat group, claimed in the report that he wasn’t able to get justice after he complained to the Police about the situation. 

Expert Calls For Regulation And Advanced System to Combat Cryptocurrency Scams

Ogbo further warned that there are chances that the scams will continue to grow in the country, thereby resulting in heightened losses. Except if the financial regulatory authorities will establish regulations and a more robust financial system to accommodate cryptocurrencies in the country.

Chuks Arubaleze, a lawyer, added in the report that these scams are apparent and not too hard to bring to a halt. “These new scams have all the attributes of wire fraud, bank fraud, and operation of unlicensed money transfer and conspiracy. If the authorities are serious, those are enough to begin to crack down on the operators”.

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